Tagged: Aquaman

Warner Archive Now Streaming Filmation’s DC Super-Heroes

NewAdvSuperman_800x800_f133bf05Continuing to make available rare and hard-to-find classic films, TV movies and TV series, Warner Archive Instant is now streaming 50 animated episodes of The New Adventures of Batman & The New Adventures of Superman, with the animated Aquaman series making its debut this June on the popular streaming service.

NwAdBatman_S1_iTunes_600x600_9de23abfWarner Archive Instant is now even easier to incorporate into your digital life through Airplay on AppleTV. Simply download the app and log in for access to hundreds of films and TV series episodes running the gamut from fanboy favorites and cult classics to some of the finest films in the history of cinema – frequently presented in full 1080p high definition.

Moreover, fans are invited to sample the streaming service for two weeks – absolutely free. Fans can sign-up at instant.warnerarchive.com and start checking out the wide variety of offerings from Warner Archive Instant.

The Point Radio: Jessica St Clair and Lennon Parham – Brainy Beauty Besties

Beautiful, brilliant besties, Jessica St. Clair and Lennon Parham, are headed to The USA Network for a new series, PLAYING HOUISE (premiering tomorrow on USA). They talk about writing comedy, making the new show stand out and the strength of their longtime friendship. Plus Warner Brothers finally publicly says “There will be a JLA movie!”

THE POINT covers it 24/7! Take us ANYWHERE on ANY mobile device (Apple or Android). Just  get the free app, iNet Radio in The  iTunes App store – and it’s FREE!  The Point Radio  – 24 hours a day of pop culture fun. GO HERE and LISTEN FREE  – and follow us on Twitter @ThePointRadio.

REVIEW: Batman: The Brave and the Bold Season One

BatmanBraveBold_S1_1shtBatman in media has often been a victim of budgets and a fickle public’s tastes. His success or failure has also impacted the comic book incarnation. For example, after the camp live-action series crashed in 1968, the comic sales plummeted, freeing editor Julie Schwartz to take things back to the beginning and reinvent the gothic look and feel which evolved into the 1980s’ grim and gritty comics. Similarly, after a successive series of dark, moody and brilliantly execute animated series, it was most definitely time for something fresh.

Along came Batman: The Brave and the Bold, a bright, colorful, action-packed series that was a sheer delight to watch. This was a Caped Crusader who worked well with others, didn’t brood a lot but took his job far more seriously than his costumed companions. He operated in a universe where heroes and villains from across the DC Universe operated, letting animators stick in brilliant cameos and actually reinvent some of the characters most in need of a personality. Among the latter was the bearded blowhard Aquaman, ready to tell a fish story, naming the adventure with an ego-centric flourish.

Warner Archive has done us all a favor by collecting the 26-episode fist season and putting it all on two Blu-ray discs for an affordable price. The premise often involved a pre-credit sequence as the Gotham Guardian finished a case with one hero before moving on to another escapade with another. As with eponymous comic it was based on, some characters reoccurred more than others thanks to their popularity such as Green Arrow, whose rivalry with Batman for gear and gadgets made for nice humor. The current incarnation of Blue Beetle was seen as an amateur in need for tutelage and we could see him grow in confidence across the run.

BBB-PartyClearly the writers, directors, animators, and voice cast had a marvelous time and it came through with every episode. The character designs came from across DC Comics’ decades long run so Black Canary look as Carmine Infantino first drew her in the 1940s while Plastic Man was at his loopiest. It was refreshing to see the JSA heroes fighting as veterans (notably the pugilistic cracks from Wildcat) while long-simmering character bits such as those between Batman and his wards rang true.

BBB-Batmite LivingRoomA standout episode was the musical “Mayhem of the Music Meister!”, with the incredibly talented Neil Patrick Harris voicing  the title villain. And like so many other installments, this one featured not just one partner but a small army including Green Arrow, Aquaman, and. Black Canary.

Given the Earth-3 villains now running amuck in Forever Evil, it’s fun to see their animated counterparts in the two-parter that closed out the first season — “Deep Cover for Batman!” and “Game Over for Owlman!”.

By some chance you missed this when it aired on the Cartoon Network, or you want a break from the sturm und drang of the current New 52, this is a treat you want.

Nick Cardy: 1920-2013

Nick CardyNick Cardy (October 16, 1920-November 23, 2013) died today after an illness. He was placed in hospice care over the weekend and leaves behind an enduring legacy of memorable artwork.

Born Nicholas Viscardi in New York City, he was raised on the Lower East Side and was already dabbling with art by the time he was six years old. He was painting and having his work published during his early teen years, taking free classes at the Boys Club of America.  Raised in an era of gorgeous magazine illustration, he found inspiration in the works of Charles Dana Gibson, Arthur Petty, Al Dorne, and John Gannon among others. He continued his studies at the School of Industrial Art where he met and befriended Al Plastino.

In 1937, he went to work for an ad agency but two years later joined the Eisner/Iger Studio and drew stories for a variety of publications, notably Quality Comics. Among his regular assignments were Sheena, Queen of the Jungle and Quicksilver. He saw Eisner as a mentor and later joined his solo studio, writing and drawing the Lady Luck feature for the back of The Spirit.

1968_showcase_76After leaving Eisner over a financial dispute, he joined Fiction House producing work for Fight Comics and Jungle Comics among others. Soon after, he served in World War from 1943-46, getting wounded and earning two purple hearts. He was assigned to the 66th Infantry Division, driving a tank in the armored cavalry. After his discharge, he met and married Ruth Houghby and they remained married until 1969. They had one son in 1955, Peter, who died in 2001.

Cardy returned to comic art, sharing studio space with Plastino and Jack Sparling, returning to Fiction House but adding in magazine work. He also took on illustrating the Casey Ruggles comic strip. In 1949, Burne Hogarth invited Cardy to take over drawing the Tarzan daily strip. He continued his work for multiple publishers, including National Comics in 1948. There, he began working for Murray Boltinoff on Gang Busters quickly adding other features.

As the 1950s dawned, he increasingly worked for National, also known as DC Comics. He took over as the main artist on Tomahawk and Congo Bill. During the early 1950s, he anglicized his name to Cardy after prejudice against his Italian heritage cost him assignments.

In 1960, Aquaman was given a tryout in Showcase with the hope he could sustain a title of his own. Ramona Fradon withdrew from the feature to raise her daughter so Cardy took over and became synonymous with the Sea King through the 1960s. And when the Teen Titans proved an enduring idea, he replaced Bruno Permiani as its artist as the group also gained their own title. During the decade his work grew more distinctive and his brilliant design sense made his covers true standouts. When Aquaman was optioned by Filmation for a Saturday morning series, he produced the character sheets for the animators.

ncardyc3When Dick Giordano was hired as an editor, Cardy lost Aquaman to Jim Aparo, although he remained on the covers for continuity. His free time was taken with the critically acclaimed Bat Lash. Cardy continued his experimenting with color and design, adding a cartoony approach that helped make the western distinctive. He also replaced Teen Titans with a long stretch on The Brave and the Bold, proving adept at not only Batman but the remainder of the DC Universe.

TeenTitans_14Under Editorial Director Carmine Infantino, Cardy grew in value to the company. Through the early 1970s Cardy became the line’s premier cover artist, giving the line a unified house style that was highly commercial.
Cardy was growing increasing discontented with comics and DC in particular so by 1975 he was ready to move on. Before leaving though, he did a series of paintings and illustrations for Marvel’s line of black and white magazines.

Modifying his name to Cardi, he reinvented himself as a commercial artist doing advertising work, largely in the film field. When he began doing convention appearances, he was rediscovered and became a popular guest at shows around the country. He excelled at commission work and remained good humored with fans. In July 2005, Cardy was inducted into the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame.

His legacy as an illustrator and stylist has thankfully been collected in various DC Archives and Showcase Presents volumes letting modern day fans see one of the finest illustrators grow, evolve and get better through the years.

Our deepest sympathies to his family, friends, and legions of fans.

The Point Radio: Jim Rash Does Writers 101


COMMUNITY fans know him as the offbeat Dean, but Jim Rash is also an Oscar winner writer and the perfect host for The Sundance Channel‘s new series, THE WRITERS ROOM. Jim talks about the plans he has for showcasing the talents behind series like DEXTER, GAME OF THRONES & more. Plus we invite you to meet the voices behind JUSTICE LEAGUE FLASHPOINT, including Cary Elwes doing Aquaman and Sam Daly stepping in as SUPERMAN.

This summer, we are updating once a week – every Friday – but you don’t have to miss any pop culture news. THE POINT covers it 24/7! Take us ANYWHERE! The Point Radio App is now in the iTunes App store – and it’s FREE! Just search under “pop culture The Point”. The Point Radio  – 24 hours a day of pop culture fun for FREE. GO HERE and LISTEN FREE on any computer or on any other  mobile device with the Tune In Radio app – and follow us on Twitter @ThePointRadio.

REVIEW: Robot Chicken DC Comics Special

RobotChicken_DCComicsSpecial_BLURobot Chicken has had some fun with the DC Universe ever since the series premiered on the Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim. As a result, a DC-centric special was inevitable and it aired back in the winter. Now out on DVD from Warner Home Video, the Robot Chicken DC Comics Special is a fast-paced laugh riot for comic book fans.

The RC crew, headed by cocreators Seth Green and Brecken Mayer are on hand, aided, abetted, and egged on by DC’s Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns. Interestingly, Zeb Wells, who normally writes for Marvel, never for DC, is ion hand to direct the special. On the surface, they cleverly make this appealing to mainstream viewers by basing the look, feel, and sound to mimic the Super Friends animated series, using sound effects from other animated projects. But once the special gets underway, you glimpse tons of characters only comic readers would know, and that’s fun, because you don’t need to know the arcane details. Still, one of the funniest bits involves the foe Mr. Banjo, voiced by Alfred Molina, who admits it was his favorite part on the special.

And the voices help sell this. Molina is joined by Neil Patrick Harris, Nathan Fillion, Megan Fox, Abe Benrubi, Tara Strong, Clare Grant, and the hilarious, foul-mouthed Alex Borstein.

The 23 minutes zip by, tied together by the usual ribbing Aquaman gets but this time, he gets so frustrated he turns to the Legion of Doom and offers his help in taking down the JLA. Another running gag, that never gets old, is the sudden arrival of Bane, who picks up Batman, breaks his back and departs.

Given how short the running time, it’s pretty impressive the disc comes with two hours’ worth of extras, notably funny writer commentaries and slightly less funny actor commentaries. There’s also The Making of Robot Chicken DC Comics Special that runs nearly as long as the show itself and gives you a good idea of what goes into making one of these episodes. There are some outtakes as the actors flub lines and deleted sketches, that get introduced and you learn why they didn’t make the cut. These, at least, got turned into animatics before being cut and one, the heroes needing the bathroom after eating Green Arrow’s chili, was borderline offensive while Booster Gold debating time traveling to kill Hitler with the JSA felt inappropriate (I guess you still shouldn’t make fun of the Holocaust).

Another extra takes you on an incomplete, mildly incoherent tour of DC Entertainment’s new Burbank offices, which makes it look like a fun place to work. The disc is rounded out with Robot Chicken DC Comics Special’s Aquaman Origin Story, Chicken Nuggets, Stoopid Alter Egos, and 5.2 Questions.

Captain Midnight #0 Free Preview

Dark Horse Comics shared a free preview of the new CAPTAIN MIDNIGHT #0 comic book.

Piloting a World War II dive-bomber, Captain Midnight—fighter pilot extraordinaire and expert inventor—hurtles out of a freak storm in the Bermuda Triangle and into the twenty-first century, where he’s in for more than one surprise as he enters the modern era! Collects the three stories from Dark Horse Presents #18–#20.

Joshua Williamson (Masks and Mobsters, Voodoo,Uncharted), Victor Ibáñez (Rat Catcher, The Spirit) and Pere Pérez (Aquaman, Detective Comics)!

Cover by Raymond Swanland!

Grab your decoder rings!

Read the free preview here.

Dark Horse reimagines radio, television, and comics’ legendary hero in an all-new ongoing series!

“Dark Horse and writer Joshua Williamson are reaching a bit further back, pulling the titular Golden Age hero from his roots in World War II and post-war America into contemporary culture.”—Comic Book Resources

John Ostrander: The Art of the Fill-In

Well, it’s been officially announced: I’m scripting issue 20 of Aquaman for Geoff Johns and Company. It brings me back to my old DC stomping grounds and I’m both happy for the opportunity and pleased with the result. I hope everyone out there will feel the same when the book appears next month.

It also gives me a chance to talk about the art of doing a fill-in which has its own special skill set whether you’re a writer or an artist. Usually it’s a single issue although it can be for two.

If you’re getting a call from an editor of a given book for a fill-in, it will usually be on short notice. I once got a call from an editor on a Friday morning. He needed the fill-in script by Monday. The way that scripting usually works is that I submit springboards (one paragraph plot ideas and I usually try to give a few) and the editor decides which he or she likes. I then do a plot overview and then finally write a full script. Collapsing the time stream, that’s about a week. I had maybe four days from a standing start.

By early afternoon, the editor had the springboards. We talked on the phone, he picked the one he liked, I wrote up the plot outline by late afternoon. The editor approved it with his comments before the end of the day and I was off and writing. The script was in by Monday.

The question is not how creative you are (although you have to be that) but how professional, how disciplined, you are. How well do you know your craft? This goes for the artist as well as the writer. You get the job done.

Here’s why: The publisher has lined up printing time and there are only so many presses that print comics. They’re generally booked pretty full so if you don’t get the book to the printer on time, you miss your slot, you have to wait until one opens up and you’ll probably pay a fee for it. If the books ships late as a result, unsold copies can be returned (not the case with an on-time book). That costs money and the offending editor will not be held in high regard.

Here’s some things to remember if you’re writing a fill-in issue. It has to fit into the current continuity but not move that continuity forward (that’s the main writer’s job/prerogative). You might be given a few things that current writer wants to advance but don’t presume. You must know what that current continuity is in order to write the character as s/he appears in the book. You probably won’t be able to play with the supporting cast unless they aren’t in the current storyline or you are asked to use them.

Don’t rewrite the origin. Don’t recreate or reinterpret the origin (again, that’s the regular writer’s domain). Don’t kill off characters. The story is complete in that issue; no dangling threads. Don’t play with the regular writer’s dangling threads (so to speak) without permission. Don’t correct any continuity flaws that you may have perceived. Don’t base it on any trivia points that you know.

Did I forget to mention that the story also has to be wonderful? The reader is not getting the usual team on the book; you don’t want then to feel ripped-off. The comic book market is volatile these days and the publisher doesn’t want to give the fans a reason to leave. That said – fill-ins are just about inevitable. The crush and stress of doing a monthly book is tough.

Aquaman 20 is not the first time I’ve done a fill-in issue for the character. The first time I was asked, my initial reaction was, “Oh great. Aquaman. The blonde geek who swims fast and talks to fishes.” You know – a lot of people’s reaction. Current writer Geoff Johns, who has done a brilliant job of making Aquaman very readable, has cunningly used that perception in some of his scripts. So I had to find something in the character that would interest me or the script would just lie there like a filleted flounder.

I used that reaction I had to Aquaman to fuel the story. I used what I call an “oblique angler” to create the story. The story, in this case, would be about Aquaman using peoples’ reactions to Aquaman. It was a story about stories. I created a news reporter who is assigned to do a write-up about Aquaman; he has the same “talks to fishies” reaction I had when getting the assignment. The reporter then investigates and finds some first person accounts about Aquaman, giving us a variety of interps. In the process, the reporter himself grows and changes. It remains one of my own personal favorite stories.

“Fill-in” does not or should not mean “generic.” All the rules of a good story apply; it’s just that you have a single issue with which to do it. And that should be true whether you have a GN, a miniseries, a long run or a fill-in. You tell a good story. That’s always the job.



Martha Thomases’s Extra Heroes

Thomases Art 130125If you were to come by my place for one of my fabulous dinner parties, you would be disappointed. My kitchen table is covered with file folders and copies of every bill I paid in 2012. Yes, it’s tax season! Every person has a different set of issues with the IRS, and mine this year are especially weird. Is an ambulance deductible?

Naturally, in an attempt to avoid this tiresome chore, I’m wondering what super-heroes who find themselves in this situation do.

I mean, I’d assume that the fabulously wealthy, the Bruce Waynes, the Tony Starks, the Oliver Queens, have accountants who can write off their gear as R & D expenses at a corporate level.

And Aquaman, Wonder Woman and Doctor Doom are heads of state of sovereign nations. Whatever they might owe their respective governments, they aren’t writing checks to the IRS.

But what about the average working schmoe? Just because you can bend steel with your bare hands doesn’t mean you can deduct your spandex pants. That’s only possible if being a hero is your business, and you need your costume as a business expense. Hooters waitresses can claim their t-shirts, Grant Morrison’s Superman can’t.

It is, I think, a major problem of our tax code that this is true. Why should Anne Romney’s horse be legally deductible as business expense when Comet is a taxable money-pit.

The reason that Rafalca is a legitimate business expense is that raising her is a business, with profit and loss. Similarly, if the Romney’s chose to donate the horse (or, more likely, a piece of artwork or simply cash) to charity, they would be legally entitled to a deduction for the value of their gift.

This is a good thing. I’m in favor of philanthropy. I’m in favor of tax laws that encourage charitable giving. I might quibble with an individual’s choice of charity, but then, I quibble with my own choices, and that’s what makes a democracy.

This should also apply to heroics. If Peter Parker is saving New York from the Green Goblin, he should be allowed to deduct his web fluid. That matters more to the city’s quality of life than a dozen socialites giving their used wardrobe to the Metropolitan Museum.

And Peter needs the deduction more. He’s a working stiff.

Similarly, there are all kinds of people who do good without any fancy outfits. Working people who use their own metro-cards to help tutor at-risk kids, or work at a soup kitchen, or a thrift store. They don’t have money, so they donate their time. It would be great if we lived in a world where these problems were taken care of at a macro level by the government. Until that happens, it would be nice if our tax laws encouraged its citizens to pick up the slack.

We can use the extra heroes.

SATURDAY: Marc Alan Fishman and Something About The New 52


Peter David has stroke

Peter David

UPDATE: Peter’s site is back. Feel free to add well-wishes there.

Peter David, writer of over one thousand comics for everyone over the past four decades, has suffered a stroke. He writes on his site:

I have had a stroke. We were on vacation in Florida when I lost control of the right side of my body. I cannot see properly and I cannot move my right arm or leg. We are currently getting the extent of the damage sorted out and will report as further details become clarified.

His main website, PeterDavid.net, is getting hammered, but we’ll be updating as we have more information. He’s still planning on hitting all his deadlines, though.

Peter, of course, is well known for his comics work, holding the current record for most months consistently published. comic book resume includes an award-winning twelve-year run on The Incredible Hulk, and he has also worked on such varied and popular titles as X-Factor, Supergirl, Young Justice, Soulsearchers and Company, Aquaman, Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2099, Star Trek, Wolverine, The Phantom, Sachs & Violens, The Dark Tower, and many others. He has also written comic book related novels, such as The Incredible Hulk: What Savage Beast, and co-edited The Ultimate Hulk short story collection. Furthermore, his opinion column, “But I Digress…,” has been running in the industry trade newspaper The Comic Buyers’s Guide for nearly a decade, and in that time has been the paper’s consistently most popular feature and was also collected into a trade paperback edition.

His latest prose fiction, Pulling Up Stakes, is available from Crazy 8 Press. Part one is available as an e-book on Amazon and Barnes & Noble now, with part two arriving shortly. His latest comic, Richard Castle’s A Calm Before Storm, is a spinoff from the TV series Castle, starring Nathan Fillion.